Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Catching Up

Well hello again!

Mum and Dad left for home today. It all feels like I've been in a very delightful, very long dream. We had a full, rich, incredibly joyful five weeks together, during which we did SO much. Tonight, while setting the table for five (instead of seven), I had to think hard to remember where everyone usually sat, before Mum and Dad came to visit. Not a sad thought at all - it made me smile, actually, to remember the gift of their having been a part of our routines and home for such a significant period. We're understandably sad that the house is a little quieter, but it was such a fulfilling time together that we're excited to be back to our old "normals" - us in our two-generational-familyness, and they on their way to Singapore and its food, smells, sunshine, markets, ridiculous population density and labyrinth-esque public transport system. 

To ease myself back into real life again, I bought fabric online (oh, the shame). They're all knits, which translate into clothes the kids and I will actually wear, which is how I rationalize my burgeoning knit stash.

I also feel like I've been away from blogland for centuries. It was a good break, and I would like to kick back(er) and not touch my sewing machine for another, oh, six months, and just eat chocolate all day, but I have stuff to share, and projects to complete before the turn of the season. See an excerpt from my list:

  • Racer back sundress
  • Emily has a birthday coming up! 
  • Coats to think about
  • A mannequin to deconstruct
  • Frog buttons to teach you
  • A Chinese tunic to make
  • Poor husband's shirts to alter
  • Plus I still owe Bearaby a PJ top (she has the skirt).

And I need to spend some quality time with my glue gun. Oh, my sad, sidelined glue gun! Did I tell you I threw out almost all the cardboard in my stash when Mum and Dad came to visit? They needed their closet back. I was planning to harass the Costco staff again to replenish my stash when I realized I like having an empty closet. So, believe it or not, I'm going to cut down on cardboard hoarding, and I'm telling myself I still have all those flattened boxes under the guest bed and between the box spring and the mattress. So maybe losing a mere closet  - even if it was a sizable walk-in closet - worth of cardboard isn't too bad.

That's just the sewing and crafting! There are also people to meet, books to read, emails to reply to, letters to write, food to eat, miles to run, laps to swim no public swimming pools here- blast!, festivals to crash, apples to pick and mazes to get lost in, before school swings into full gear and I finally admit to myself that the summer is done.

Speaking of letters to write, I want to show you my new Weapon of Mass Communication:

It's a fountain pen. My brother bought it for me. I've always loved fountain pens and he's such a pen aficionado that he was the perfect person to pick this one out. They make you want to write nicely, fountain pens do. They also make you want to write real letters, not email, or blog posts, or thank you cards, or party invitations, or text messages or FB status updates that seem to be all I can claim to my name now. I used to write wonderful letters. Maybe with my trusty new sword, I will again. Did I ever share that writing cursive with a fountain pen was part of our third grade (primary three) curriculum at school? We all had to carry  weird blotting papers in our bags. We also always had blue fingers and strange blue spots on our pencil cases.

And finally, a project I actually completed during these five weeks:

When Jenna saw it, she said, "Oh, you made a nicer Tallulah!"
Yes, much better than the old one, who had deformed facial features, poor thing.

She's going to another home, to love a little toddler. So tomorrow we're off to the post office, then the supermarket, then the library, all before lunch. Yep, life is back to being one breathless race from sunup to sundown. If it ain't manic, it ain't summer, right?


  1. Ahhhhh... so nice to have you back!! And glad that the time with your parents was so good.

  2. It is so nice that you were able to have such an extended visit with your parents - and it was lovely of you to share glimpses of your time together with your online followers.

    You new pen reminded me of a school in Edinburgh, Scotland where all of the students (beginning as young as age 7) and teachers are required to write with fountain pens. The principal believe that this practice has improved the academic performance and self-esteem of his students. Perhaps blue fingers and spotted pencil cases are a fair trade-off? Kudos to your brother for selecting such a beautiful pen for you. He seems like a good brother, to me!

  3. Good to hear you had a fantastic time with your folks.
    I miss mine too.

  4. Loved the Maisy mouse posts - my daughter was a big fan so I made her a quilt

    here is a link to my post on it

    That was before the printed fabric came out so each block is appliqued - such fun!

  5. Eh, I don't recall the blotting paper....Mayhaps you are converging Opera Estate with Malory Towers? But it could more likely be that I am losing my mind (gray matter).

    I feel like digging up MY old fountain pen.....drats, it's probably at my mother's house, clogged up with dried Quink.

  6. I LOVE my fountain pen, although it needs a new nib. I spent fourth grade in France, and also carried around funny-looking blotting paper and attracted ink stains =)

    I have only three cardboard boxes at the moment, but I think I need to start storing it between mattresses and bed frames - thanks for the idea!

  7. Is that fabric from Patsy Aiken? If so, how is the quality? I have never ordered fabric online, but I have read good things about her fabric. Can't wait to see what you make with it!

    I'm glad you had fun with your parents...I always love to see my kids have a meaningful relationship with extended family. Rachelbismark at yahoo dot com.

  8. Where do you buy your knits from? I find very few in regular stores, any favorite online stores you shop from?

  9. @Anonymous
    Yes, it is. The quality is very good - thick, nice to work with, bright prints. I only buy them on sale, though, because they only come in 2 yard increments and the cost for all those 2 yard pieces does add up!

  10. @calknit
    Calknit, I buy them from various places. Online I buy them from chez ami (Patsy Aiken). Good quality, but they come in 2 yard increments, so you can't buy less if you wanted to. When I'm not shopping online (which is rare anyway), I buy them from different local fabric stores.

  11. @Linda at Circular Needles Linda, what fun to read about that school in Edinburgh! I don't know about self esteem and academic performance in our old Primary School while we were using fountain pens, but it did make us write nicely. We felt very English, certainly! And later, in 7th grade (Secondary One), we learned calligraphy in art class, and those fountain pen lessons stood us in good stead!


Thank you for talking to me! If you have a question, I might reply to it here in the comments or in an email.